Questions to Ask Your Surgeon Before a Complete Shoulder Replacement

Approximately 40% of the population will experience shoulder pain in their lifetime. It’s an intricate joint that can be easily damaged.

A complete shoulder replacement is one of the best ways to ease the pain when it becomes unbearable and persistent. It’s effective but not the right choice for every patient.

Read on to learn a few of the questions you need to ask your surgeon before getting a complete shoulder replacement.

Am I A Candidate?

The first thing you need to ask before considering a complete shoulder replacement is whether you’re a candidate for the procedure. Shoulder conditions that require surgery include rotator cuff tears, shoulder impingement, and arthritis.

The main consideration is the level of your pain. You may need surgery if it limits your range of motion, interferes with your daily activities, and persists when you’re at rest.

Surgery won’t be the first recommended treatment. If Physical therapy and pain medications don’t ease your pain, you may have to go under the knife.

A few things may prevent you from being a candidate for surgery. For example, it’s not the best option if you have damaged nerves in your deltoids.

How Should I Prepare?

The first step before any surgical procedure is a full exam. It helps your surgeon gather the information they need, but it’s also one of the best times for you to ask them questions.

You may have to stop smoking or using anti-inflammatory drugs a few weeks in advance. They increase the risk of bleeding and complications.

Gather plenty of loose or button-down clothes before your surgery. They’ll keep you comfortable and make it easier to change dressings.

What Are The Risks?

Shoulder surgery presents risks like any other, and you should always ask your surgeon about them.

There’s the potential for strokes or blood clots while under anesthesia. Infection in the incision can happen, but your doctor will prescribe antibiotics to decrease that risk.

What Does The Procedure Involve?

Ask how long the surgery takes. Find out how long you should expect to be under anesthesia and when you’ll be out of the hospital.

Ask what to expect after the surgery. Find out if you’ll have a scar and how long the implant will last. Most go for at least 10 years without having to be replaced.

How Will I Recover?

Your arm will be placed in a sling after shoulder replacement surgery. Find out how long you’ll need it and how much arm function you can expect to get back.

Discuss physical therapy. Find out where you’ll need to go and how often. Make sure you understand the exercises you’ll have to do.

Find out how long you’ll have to be away from work. Ask when you can resume normal activities such as driving, showering, and playing sports. You may even have permanent activity restrictions.

Where Can I Find the Best Surgeon for a Complete Shoulder Replacement?

A complete shoulder replacement is one of the best ways to relieve shoulder pain that won’t go away with other treatments. Ask your shoulder surgeon a few important questions before you begin.

Find out if you’re a fitting candidate first and what the potential risks are. Learn how to prepare, what the procedure involves, and what your recovery will be like.

The surgeons at Idaho Shoulder 2 Hand can relieve pain in your shoulder, hand, wrist, and elbow. Make an appointment today.